Windows 8/8.1 Tablet Screen Keeps Dimming & Brightening

  • Myself and some friends noticed something weird on Windows 8 months ago. I was using a Build slate and they were using the Samsung Series 7 slate (Build slate is based on it). The screen would appear to randomly darken and brighten. I didn’t pay too much attention to it; I thought it might be a driver thing that might get sorted after RTM.

Then it started happening on my new Windows 8 tablet. I noticed it never happened during the the bright of day or in the well lit office at work. However, it happened all the time at home at night. It just started happening here where I have the curtains pulled and the TV on.  Then I figured it out … if the ambient light is dim, the light sensor in the devices are getting confused, and the auto-brightness feature of Windows 8 misbehaves. The screen going dark/bright every few seconds can get really annoying.

You can disable this feature.  Change the Adjust My Screen Brightness Automatically to off.  You can find this setting here in Windows 8:

  • Open the new control panel: Settings – Change PC Settings
  • Browse to General
  • Under Screen

In Windows 8.1 browse to PC Settings (the new Control Panel):

  • PC & Devices
  • Power & Sleep

Now you have an always bright screen (or a dimmed screen), depending on the configuration of your active power plan.


Apologies if you have Windows 8.1 Update (patched since April 8th 2014). That’s because the setting has disappeared and I cannot find it. I hope you like constantly darkening screens.

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15 Comments on Windows 8/8.1 Tablet Screen Keeps Dimming & Brightening

  1. Helpful blog Aidan 🙂 Helped many of my friends already.

    Thank you Aidan.


  2. My eyes thank you… had searched the power settings, display settings in the traditional control panel… couldn’t solve it. Thanks

  3. Thanks so much! I got the same problem and i just bought the Samsung Smart PC Pro for 2 days, so much worried about it, and you helped me on this! thanks!

  4. Thank you so much from China. I hate Window8 so much meanwhile I’m old school too so I bought PC. And this little shit (excuse my language) keeps bugging me as hell. I was even checking the sensor like a smartphone one to see if there is one so that I can block it from sensing the changing of my using environment. Thank you again.

  5. If you want to disable adaptive brightness on windows 8.1 on a tablet. go to control panel-> display-> power settings-> power options-> edit advance power setting-> open the plus sign next to enable adaptive brightness-> disable.

  6. thank you. what a pain

  7. thanks for the help its was doing my head in thank you for this info

  8. i thought my screen was dead! just bought the laptop one week ago!!

    in windows 8.1 the setting is in Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings

  9. My problem is not the same as the title of this thread. I had a client with a Dell tablet running Windows 8, and the screen dimmed and would not brighten. None of the setting changes would make a difference. I fixed the problem by disconnecting the AC adapter, removing the battery, and pressing the power button for 30 seconds to purge all residual power and reset the device. I reinserted the battery and powered it on, and the screen came on at full brightness and setting adjustments worked again.

  10. Adjusting the dell plan settings on my tablet worked…adjusted them to 100% all the time.
    Works great now

  11. Thank you!, it still is in PC Settings > PC & Devices > POwer and Sleep.

  12. oh god thank you!!!!!!

  13. Hi, I have windows 8.1 on a Samsung active and this problem is killing me. I already put the auto brightness off but the problem persist. Went to Samsung and they told me they couldn’t do anything about it and that it was a normal feature of this hell of a computer. honestly I Hate windows 8 and hate this Samsung activ. Plz help because I am about to throw it from the window.

  14. There are two causes. Laura, your cause seems to be the light sensor. It needs replacing.

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